DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 27, 2011) – The Paul Miller Racing team faced an eventful opening day of GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Cask No. 16 competition at Daytona International Speedway that was highlighted by a solid 13th place qualifying effort for this weekend’s Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 29 – 30. The No. 48 Marquis Jet/TOTAL/IPC Porsche GT3 team shook off a mechanical issue in the morning practice session with Bryce Miller turning a qualifying lap of 1:49.916 (116.598 mph) around the historic 3.56-mile road course.
“We’re really happy as a team that we qualified in 13th given the circumstances,” Miller said after qualifying. “We lost a lot of time this morning in the practice session that we were hoping to reserve to work through some setup changes we made between the official test days and now. Having lost that session this morning, we’re paying for that now.”
Thursday’s practice and qualifying sessions were for this weekend’s 49th Annual Rolex 24 At Daytona that starts at 3:30 p.m. ET this Saturday, January 29. Live coverage on SPEED begins 30 minutes earlier at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT, and a total of 14 hours of live race coverage will air on SPEED through Sunday’s checkered flag at 3:30 p.m. local time.
After the successful morning repair and afternoon qualifying run the team set their focus on race strategy and refining the race setup for the No. 48 Porsche, but a contact incident in the night practice session forced the team back to the garage.
“We’re not sure what happened, I didn’t see it,” Miller said. “They’re checking everything out on the car now.”
Miller, who hails from Summit, N.J., finished second in class in the 2008 Rolex 24 and is joined by Bryan Sellers, Tim Sugden and Rob Bell for the 2011 running of the endurance classic.
The team will continue to work on the car tonight, expecting to be back on track for tomorrow’s 9:00 a.m. practice session.
Paul Miller Racing is among the top GT-style teams competing in North American sports car road racing. In 2011, the team will contest the full American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón, as well as the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The team enjoys a long-standing relationship with Porsche and competes with the support of three international sponsors in Marquis Jet, IPC Information Systems and TOTAL Lubricants.
Attached Photo: The No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Porsche during today’s qualifying session at the Daytona International Speedway. Credit: Bob Chapman